Inside George H.W. Bush's Unlikely Friendship With Alum Dana Carvey

Wednesday, December 05, 2018
Photos of Dana Carvey as President Bush and Bush himself

KPIX-CHANNEL 5 (SAN FRANCISCO)/CBS NEWS -- Carvey grew up in the Bay Area after his family moved to San Carlos when he was 3 years old. He would later graduate from San Francisco State University and was a fixture of the San Francisco stand-up scene in the late ’70s.

Together, Mr. Bush and his comedic foil forged a perhaps unexpected friendship. It’s one that started after Mr. Bush lost his bid for re-election in 1992. Bush invited Carvey to the White House as a pick-me-up for the staff.

“I was staying in the Lincoln bedroom last night and I couldn’t resist picking up the phone, and I called up the Secret Service as the president. ‘Feel like going jogging tonight — in the nude,'” Carvey said.

His impressions were comedy gold, and so memorable Mr. Bush himself had to join in the fun. Mr. Bush’s grace and generosity were vividly on display as he recounted a phone call to Carvey.

“He said, ‘I hope I’ve never crossed the line,’ and I knew exactly what he meant, and as far as I’m concerned he never has. And the fact that we can laugh at each other is a very fundamental thing,” Bush said.

Photos, from left: Dana Carvey as President George H.W. Bush and Bush himself. Photos courtesy of Saturday Night Live/NBC.